USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is making over $3.2 million in fiscal year 2023 funds available for oversubscribed conservation programs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) – through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The Inflation Reduction Act funding is targeted to help farmers and forest landowners apply climate-smart practices to improve their operations’ resiliency and productivity. Investments in practices like cover crops, conservation tillage, wetland restoration, prescribed grazing, nutrient management, tree planting, forage and hay planting, and livestock waste management will also benefit the environment and the producer’s bottom line by conserving water, improving soil health and wildlife habitat, and reducing runoff.
“The Inflation Reduction Act provided a once-in-a-generation investment in conservation on working lands, and we want to work with farmers to apply climate-smart practices that create value and economic opportunity for producers,” said Luis Cruz-Arroyo, NRCS Caribbean director.
NRCS accepts producer applications for its conservation programs year-round, but farmers and forest landowners should apply for this year’s EQIP-IRA and CSP-IRA funding cycle by April 28, 2023.
Funding is provided through a competitive process and will include an opportunity to address the unmet demand from farmers who have previously sought funding for climate-smart conservation activities.
For details, see the national news release, visit the Caribbean Area NRCS website at www.PR.nrcs.usda.gov or contact NRCS at 787-766-5206 or 787-281-4960.